A new network of support for young victims of rape and sexual abuse at the hands of gangs is launched by the Home Office.
Funding will go towards 13 new young people’s advocates, working in areas most affected by gangs.
They will provide direct and dedicated support to young people who have either been victims of sexual violence or exploitation, or who are at risk of becoming victims.
The advocates’ expertise will be in place by summer 2012, and they will aim to provide a link between existing services to ensure needs are met.
“The shocking level of abuse of girls and young women associated with gangs has been kept hidden for too long,” said Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.
“We are determined to take action to raise awareness, provide skilled and sensitive support to victims and work to prevent it happening in the first place.”
Ms Featherstone was speaking at the Lilian Baylis Technology School, in Kennington, south London, where a team of youth workers from the ‘Growing Against Gangs and Violence’ delivered a session to Year 10 pupils.
The work will receive £1.2m over three years, as announced in the cross-government Ending Gang and Youth Violence report, published on 1 November last year.